Page 42

ACEF Journal Vol 3 Issue 1 December 2012

The Impact of Brain Compatible Learning If learning consists of the development of connections between neural networks, our question is whether or not this growth can be enhanced through a more supportive and responsive school setting. An environment where teachers and students are attentive to teaching and learning creates more positive outcomes (Higgins et al., 2005; Kumar, O’Malley, & Johnston, 2008). The role of the teacher is to create an atmosphere conducive to learning and encourage the development of student achievement (Sylwester, 2000). If BCL is to be compatible with education, then there needs to be more interaction with the environment than current school facilities allow (Buckley, Schneider, & Shang, 2004; Earthman & Lemasters, 2009; Picus, Marion, Calvo, & Glenn, 2005; Sousa, 2011). Emphasis on creating a learning community within the walls of the school facility necessitates engagement by teachers, students, administrators, staff, and community. Observers of school settings deemed learning communities would have students actively engaged in the learning process and teachers actively engaged in teaching. There would be signs of focused purposeful instruction, and a visible achievement plan for student success, a safe comfortable environment, and opportunities for student movement. There would be places for interactive learning as well as spaces for quiet activities (Duran-Narucki, 2008; Higgins et al., 2005; Sousa, 2011). Teacher preparation programs encourage aspiring teachers to integrate content areas with context and real world experiences. An integrated curriculum model provides the knowledge and skills to teach children how to learn and explore information in more than one subject area at a time and across content disciplines. Content, such as arts education, reading/literacy, and mathematics are integrated and applied as thematic areas. Teacher candidates learn to organize subject matter by bringing various aspects of the curriculum into meaningful association. (Hardman, 2009, p. 584) The single story egg carton school facility design of the 50s, 60s, and 70s does not lend well to the teaching philosophy professed in today’s teacher preparation courses (Wise, 2004). The egg carton and egg crate models basically consist of one self-contained classroom next to another without any inside connection between classrooms. Egg carton models are single story shoeboxes that include exits to an outside walkway. Egg crate models look like 3 to 4 story factory constructions, commonly built during the 1930s, 40s, and early 50s. These linear models were designed for economy and efficiency, not always compatible with the other three “E’s”, effective education environment (Duran-Narucki, 2008). As educators recognized the importance of encouraging teamwork and cooperative learning among teachers and students, the linear egg carton design obviously would not work (Wise, 2004). Today, contemporary educators and architects are looking for school facility designs that encourage viable teaching and learning environments while meeting budgetary constraints (Tanner, 2009; Uline, 2009). As pointed out by Earthman and Lemasters (2011), In school buildings of good condition, students perform better because of building features and condition that assist in the learning process. Students perform better when the proper equipment is available to them, the environment is conducive to efficient bodily functioning, and the building is clean and an inviting place to live. Student performance can be enhanced if the building has those components that research has demonstrated to be necessary for efficient and effective learning. . . . Further, the building should have student-friendly colors in the classrooms as well as functional furniture and equipment in good condition. Finally, there should be sufficient space for December 2012 / ACEF 42


ACEF Journal Vol 3 Issue 1 December 2012
To see the actual publication please follow the link above